Ethan Frome [NOOK Book]

Overview

Ethan Frome is set in a fictional New England town named Starkfield, where an unnamed narrator tells the story of his encounter with Ethan Frome, a man with dreams and desires that end in an ironic turn of events. The narrator tells the story based on an account from observations at Frome's house when he had to stay there during a winter storm.

The novel is framed with the literary concept of an extended flashback. The first chapter opens with...
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Ethan Frome

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Overview

Ethan Frome is set in a fictional New England town named Starkfield, where an unnamed narrator tells the story of his encounter with Ethan Frome, a man with dreams and desires that end in an ironic turn of events. The narrator tells the story based on an account from observations at Frome's house when he had to stay there during a winter storm.

The novel is framed with the literary concept of an extended flashback. The first chapter opens with an unnamed narrator who, while spending a winter in Starkfield, sets out to learn about the life of a mysterious local figure named Ethan Frome, a man who had been injured in a horrific “smash-up” some two decades before. Frome is described as “the most striking figure in Starkfield”, “the ruin of a man” with a “careless powerful look…in spite of a lameness checking each step like the jerk of a chain”.

The narrator fails to get many details from the townspeople. However, the narrator hires him as his driver for a week. A severe snowstorm forces Frome to take the narrator to his home one night for shelter. Just as the two are entering Frome's house, the first chapter ends. The second chapter flashes back twenty years; the narration switches from the first-person narrator of the first chapter to an omniscient third-person narrator. Ethan is waiting outside a church dance for Mattie, his wife’s cousin, who lives with Ethan and his wife Zeena (Zenobia) to help around the house since Zeena is sickly. Mattie is given the occasional night off to entertain herself in town as partial recompense for taking care of the Frome family without pay, and Ethan has fallen into the habit of walking her home. It is made clear that Ethan has deep feelings for Mattie, and it is equally clear that Zeena suspects these feelings and does not approve.

When Zeena leaves for a two-day visit to seek treatment for her illness in a neighboring town, Ethan is excited to have an evening alone with Mattie. However, the two never verbalize or show their passion for each other throughout their evening together. The Fromes' cat breaks Zeena’s favorite pickle dish which Mattie had set on the table. Ethan sets the dish's pieces neatly in the cupboard with plans to fix it soon. He represses the impulse to demonstrate his passion and affection for Mattie.

In the morning, Ethan’s plans to reveal his love for Mattie are foiled by the presence of his hired man; he runs into town to pick up some glue for the broken pickle dish, and upon his return finds that Zeena has returned. Zeena informs him that she plans to send Mattie away and hire a more efficient girl to replace her, as her health is failing even more rapidly. Ethan’s passions are inflamed by the thought of losing Mattie, and he kisses her passionately when he finds her in the kitchen after Zeena’s pronouncement. He tells her of Zeena’s plans to dismiss her, but their moment is interrupted by Zeena herself. Zeena discovers the broken pickle dish and is angered, furthering her determination to get rid of Mattie.
Ethan considers running away with Mattie, but he does not possess the financial wherewithal to do so. The next morning, Zeena announces the plans to hire a new girl and send Mattie on her way. Ethan rushes into town on an errand to seek out an advance from a customer for a load of lumber, so as to give him the money to run away with Mattie. His plan is unhinged by guilt, however, when his customer’s wife compliments him on his patience and dedication in caring for Zeena through her sickness.

Ethan returns to the farm, picking up Mattie to go to the train station. They stop at a hill upon which they had once proposed to go sledding, and they decide to go through with the sledding despite the dangers of the trees. After their first run, Mattie suggests a suicide pact; that they run themselves into a tree so they may spend their last moments together. Ethan resists the notion, but then finally agrees, and they take the ride down together. On the way down, a vision of Zeena's face makes Ethan try to turn aside at the last moment, but he recovers and hits the elm tree. Instead of both of them being killed, Ethan regains consciousness after the accident and, dazed and confused, finds Mattie lying beside him fully paralyzed and moaning in pain. Additionally, Ethan is partially paralyzed, finding movement to be difficult. This was the so-called "smash-up" introduced at the beginning of the novel.

The final chapter switches back to the first-person narrator point of view of the first chapter, as Frome and the narrator walk into the Frome household two decades later. The tables are turned; Mattie's personality has "soured" and Zeena now must care for her and Ethan.
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Product Details

  • BN ID: 2940013527072
  • Publisher: DB Publishing House
  • Publication date: 11/24/2011
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 132
  • File size: 270 KB

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 156 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(57)

4 Star

(37)

3 Star

(33)

2 Star

(15)

1 Star

(14)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 153 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 9, 2011

    Favorite Book

    This is my favorite book of all-time. I first read this book in high school (about 20 years ago!) and have read it several times since.
    It is a love story with a sad ending.

    I don't understand why people say this is boring. I think I'll blow the dust off of my copy and read it again.

    11 out of 12 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 27, 2011

    This is a great, sad story

    It is about the life of a man who had nothing but hard luck. It is an old fashion romance that unlike Hollywood movies- cannot be said to have a happy ending. Thought provoking.

    11 out of 13 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 24, 2012

    Five Star Story, One Star Proofreading

    The story itself contained in this e-book is just as compelling a story as you would expect from Edith Wharton. Very few authors have even come close to her ability to understand and communicate complicated human emotions and their consequences. Ethan Frome is a very simple, yet heartrending story of regret and what might have been. However, I have a huge complaint about the quality of the e-book itself. There are numerous typos, sections of text randomly missing, making for very awkward transitions, and, inexplicably the text:

    Ethan Frome
    Ethan Frome

    in about the middle of almost every single page. We know what book we're reading, we don't need it doubly restated on every page! The nook is a great device, but if Barnes and Noble wants it to be taken seriously, it really needs to pay attention to the quality of the reading material it makes available. There are many other websites out there that provide these copyright-expired books in epub format that are error-free. Yes it's a little more complicated to get them onto the nook, but it can be a worthwhile tradeoff in order to get a readable edition of the book. I'd rather have a book I can read that takes a few more steps than the one-click convenience of getting an incomprehensible nookbook.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 5, 2014

    Wonderful and heart-breaking.

    A starkly beautiful and tragic tale of hopeless love and thwarted lives. I can't believe it's taken me so long to get around to reading this classic, but now that I have, it's definitely being added to my list of favorites.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 3, 2012

    Good but Depressing

    I read this book for school, it is a good book but very depressing. The plot has little substance and very confusing characters. I would not have picked this book to read voluntarily. I give it two and a half stars lol.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 21, 2011

    BBOORRIINNGG!!!!!!!

    I had to read this as a english summer read and had so much trouble getting into the story. The plot is hard to follow and there is little to no personality in the characters. I would not recommend this book.

    1 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted July 7, 2011

    could not read

    Again with huge sentence spacing, word spacing and long list of numbers, it was just too difficult to read.

    1 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 22, 2014

    France

    Ah.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 23, 2014

    Beautifully depressing

    This book is all about ethans misery. Itll make you hate zeena

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 15, 2014

    Get a pink ipad

    Kiss your3 times on three books then look under your pillow

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 19, 2014

    Get a pink ipad

    Kiss your hand three times post this on three other books and look under your pillow

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 16, 2013

    ?

    For some reason, even after purchasing-i only have acess to the sample section.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted June 14, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    can see why this is an american classic

    so tragic, well written and hard to put down.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 15, 2012

    Great book

    I had to read this novel for class and though it is written very differentlybthan other Wharton books, it is personally my favorite. I recomend it to anyone looking for a quick read with a great story and a twist that will make putting the book down impossible.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 2, 2012

    Wasn't great

    I read this book for school and it wasn't that bad, but also not great. Also, this version was full of weird spacing, and starting new paragraphs in a middle of a sentence. It also would randomly put the title places, even in the middle of a sentence.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 9, 2012

    Disappointed

    Seemed promising. Good climax, but then fell flat fast. Then it was over before I knew it. Horrible ending.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 6, 2012

    Cheyanne

    I looked up this book becouse thats my best friends name.so..............

    0 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 8, 2012

    Not bad

    I read this for english class and i first, had a hard time getting into it..but after awhile the story became more clear and it was an enjoyable read.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 5, 2012

    Terrible, terrible book.

    This story is nothing more than an experiment in just how thoroughly a work of fiction can depress the reader. With stilyed prose and a truly unlikeable main character, this is a story not to be set aside lightly, but rather to be hastily buried in the woods and forgotten by history.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 30, 2011

    Great reading experience Good reading

    Conversaytkional alwas some thiing going on

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 153 Customer Reviews

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